Sorrel Barbecue Sauce
Once upon a time I used to eat meat. The end.
Ok, so when I did eat meat, there was one thing I really liked from KFC ( now KFC in the Caribbean is a whole different kettle of fish that say the franchise in the US or UK, some of the items aren't even offered in the bigger countries, Spicy what?) was the honey barbecue wings. Then I decided I could probably make the sauce myself, and I fiddled with ingredients until one day I did indeed figure it out. When I stopped eating meat, I still wanted the sauce. I know, shocking, non meat eaters can have bbq??? whatttt???
I like barbecue, if you're ever in St. Lucia, do Gros Islet on a Friday night, there's a vendor in the top left hand corner, who makes an amazing garlic sauce, he also grills a mean snapper.. my apologies, I really don't know if he grills bad tempered fish.
I'm rambling, so yes I like barbecue, from veggies to fish, I don't always have bottles of sauce at home because I don't always like the ingredients in the ready made stuff. So I started doing this thing to make a quick barbecue sauce when I was craving it but didn't want to cook something for hours..
I use jam or jelly. Sounds kinda weird right But no. It works. I promise. I usually make it with guava jelly, but ever since I was gifted a jar of sorrel jam, the thought had been bouncing around my brain. I knew I needed to make sorrel barbecue sauce.
So I did.
Firstly, sorrel, or "hibiscus" is a plant that we in the West Indies (I think parts of Africa, where else I'm not sure) use to make a drink. Usually at Christmas time. It's tradition, it's culture, it's delicious.
Now, let me tell you about the sorrel jam. If you follow my social media, you might know this already.. If you're not following my social media, get with the program folks. lol. Facebook, IG and Twitter : bellycomesfirst
It came from St. Vincent and the Grendaines, it's really not something I'd even seen before and I was really excited to try it. The texture reminded me of a damsel or tamarind stew. Now when I say "stew" I don't mean a soup, it's how we refer to fruit that's been cooked with sugar, spices and sometimes pepper, until it's broken down, soft and although still liquid, it's maybe more on par with a preserve. We eat the "stew" (usually) from little plastic baggies, that the vendors sell them in, you bite off one corner, (kinda like you might with a pastry bag or icing cone) and pretty much eat it like you would a popsicle.
I'm rambling again aren't I?
The taste reminded me of cranberry sauce. It's sweet but it has that tartness that hits your TM joint area and makes your mouth water. It's a pretty complex little condiment come to think of it. If you can try some, try some.
Today I decided to make some soup, but upon entering the kitchen, I seemed to be taking out ingredients for barbecue sauce instead? I no longer question it. So sauce it was. I'm going to put the ingredients below, bear in mind you can do this with most any jam, and if you want it spicy, add more pepper, if you want it sweeter add brown or coconut sugar, more tart, add lime juice or more vinegar. It's really all about what you like.
I mixed some arepa flour (corn masa) and cornmeal, water and some salt and pepper into a batter, tossed some cauliflower in it, fried them up, and tossed them in the finished barbecue sauce. You can baste chicken, or pork or fish, eat what you like, I"m not the food police. Just know you can eat a healthier version of what you like and still have it taste good.
Sorrel BBQ sauce
(these are approximations, y'all know I measure nothing)
1 Tbs coconut oil (use any oil you want)
1/3 cup sorrel jam (or jam of your choosing)
1/2 a small onion - any variety (you'll see from the pic, I just used what I had cut already)
2 cloves of garlic
2Tbs apple cider vinegar (white if you want)
2 Tbs molasses (honey or agave would be fine, I just like molasses)
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs brown sugar (you might need less depending on the sweetness of the actual jam and how you like your sauce)
salt and pepper
I also add things like smoked paprika and adobe/cayenne etc, the add ons are up to you really, this is just a base for you to work off.
*Mince garlic and onion and add them to a pot (medium heat) with the coconut oil
*let them make friends, and become soft and translucent then add the tomato paste. At this point, add any powdered spices you want.
* Mix the jam, AVC, molasses together and add to the pot with the onions, then add the brown sugar.
*taste the thing and see what, if anything you might want to add.
* turn the heat down and let it thicken up a bit. ( I think it took all of 10-15 minutes, maybe less... probably less)
*turn it off. Let it cool. Blend up if you want it smooth.
*slather it on things
*eat the things
If you try it, let me know.